Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Altina the Sword Princess Volume 13 Chapter 4

The Price of Betrayal
Translator: Skythewood
Machine editor: ratorasepo
Editors: Darkdhaos, CEObrainz

This was the flaw of moving the headquarters drastically during battle.

The plan was similar to the tactics used by the High Britannian Kingdom. Splitting your unit in half in the face of the enemy’s charge, and lure them in deep before surrounding them.

Other than the fact that they didn’t have large quantities of the new model of rifles, there weren’t any significant differences.

But letting the Sixth Army bear the brunt of the Etruria Army’s charge was the exception.

Back then, Regis used a cavalry charge to counter High Britannia’s tactics.

When the headquarters were shifting, relaying orders became difficult.

No matter how wide the enemy detection network was, it was useless if the reports couldn’t make it to headquarters.

And now, Regis was in the same situation.

— We are attacked by a cavalry charge when our security is at its weakest!

He clicked his tongue.

【Just where did they come from…?!】

He despatched adequate amount of scouts to prevent anything unexpected from happening, and he even knew how the enemy was deployed.

The messenger got down on one knee.

【T-The… The ones attacking us is the cavalry form the Eighth Army!】

【… W-What?!】

Altina yelled in anger.

【Did they turn on us?!】

Her bellow struck fear even in the experienced soldiers around her.

The messenger trembled and said:

【I-I don’t know!】

— A turncoat and sneak attack? Were they colluding with the Etruria Theocracy all this time?

He thought back to Rockhoward’s behaviour.

Was all his retarded speech just an act?

Was he trying to lower their guard by pretending to be incompetent?

What should we do?!

There wasn’t enough time.

He had to decide now!

Regis browsed the shelves in his mind at blistering speed.

He chose a book from countless others, and flipped the pages quickly.

【… The western half of the Fourth Army are to advance to the south.】

He gave the orders.

Eric said in surprise:

【Shouldn’t they head north?!】

【… Yes, they will be supported by the Sixth Army if they head north.】

【That’s right.】

【… What if the Sixth Army rebel too?】

【How could that be?!】

【I’m just considering the worst scenarios.】

— In that case, the enemy would be the Etruria Theocracy army of 30,000, The Sixth Army 20,000 and the Eighth Army’s 20,000, totaling 70,000. There’s only 8,000 on our side, and we are split into two halves.

If Altina could escape, it would be a blessing in such a disaster.

Cold sweat broke out on his back.

Regis continued issuing orders.

【Instruct the Flying Sparrow Knights at the east of the Sixth Army to stop the cavalry attacking our rear…】

No, this is too weird.

Regis who was racking his brain for a counter-strategy spoke to his other self who was observing the battle from another perspective.

— This is too unlikely.

He thought carefully.

If the Eighth Army and Rockhoward really want to betray the Empire, he didn’t need to do so at this moment.

Wouldn’t it be easier for him to storm the rooms of the key personnel with heavy infantry while we were still in the Aroe Maroe city?

And if he really rebelled, the family and relatives of the commander and his staff officers couldn’t remain unscathed.

They would probably be executed.

The harshest punishment of the Belgaria Empire was awaiting them. It was hard to believe that the Etruria Theocracy could offer anything enticing enough for them to turn traitor.

Was their treason so hard to believe?

Then what was their intention in attacking our rear?

Did they really have a reason to rebel, that Regis couldn’t even imagine? Or maybe they just decided on that?

By right, Regis should issue the order to attack without hesitation.

【Ughh… 】


He could hear Altina calling him.

He must protect this girl.

At the same time, he had faith that this girl with her excellent swordsmanship would not lose to those knights.

【… The Flying Sparrow Knights are to standby! We will stop the Eighth Army at headquarters!】

【Are we going into battle?!】

【… I’m sorry, I’m counting on you.】

【Ah, no problem!】

The noise behind him was getting louder.

The cavalry pushed aside the ranks and were closing in.

Without a doubt, they were the cavalry of the Belgarian Empire. They wore the emblem of the Eighth Army on their chest.


Although the soldiers of the Fourth Army falling into chaos was part of the reason, they reached the headquarters since its distance from the rear guard was relatively short.

And Rockhoward himself was leading the charge!


Damn fool! Altina raised his sword.

She yelled:

【You unforgivable traitor! I will teach you a lesson!】

Finally, the Eighth Army’s cavalry broke through into the headquarters.

Rockhoward held his spear up high.

【Madam Généralissime, are you alright!?】


Altina turned stiff.

Regis’ mind also turned blank.

Altina said blankly.


With her sword ready to slash at Rockhoward raised high, she was frozen like a statue.

The Lieutenant General exhaled in relief.

【I’m relieved to see that you are okay.】

【W… What?】

【I saw from the walls that the Fourth Army had been routed, so I rushed here to assist! I’m glad I made it in time! Leave the rest to the Eighth Army!】


Facing such an unexpected reason, Altina was speechless.

Regis was the same.

With the encirclement on the east side collapsing, the Etruria Army could reorganize themselves.

The enemy commander who gained some brief respite, regained control of the units around him.

The units that had restored order helped the other soldiers build up a defense line.

The Etruria Army retreated.

About 30 percent of the enemy forces had fallen.

That was to be expected.

If they pursue now, the Belgaria Empire would need to pay a heavy price too.

Moments ago, it was just a matter of time before the enemy had to surrender.

Regis felt that his voice wasn’t his own.

【… Do not pursue too deeply… Reorganize the troops.】

The messenger nodded with a pained expression, and blew a rather sad tune. It was a victory, but it felt like a defeat.

Rockhoward spoke again:

【Madam Généralissime, the enemy is getting away!】

【That’s right.】

【My cavalry is ready! Please give the orders to pursue!】


【I will definitely cut off the enemy commander’s head!】

She was so energetic earlier, but she now looked as if she had been working without sleep for three nights in a row.

Rockhoward’s idiotic behaviour far surpassed any precedence, and had reached an unimaginable level.

How incredibly moronic.

She finally managed to speak.

【My orders are for the Eighth Army to defend the fort, correct? You were supposed to protec, and not attac. Correct?】

【Yes, Madam! I made the call that the commander-in-chief was in danger!】

【But the Fourth Army didn’t signal you for aid.】

【You didn’t! But we must protect you! Madam Généralissime is a very important person for the Empire.】


She was speechless again.

Regis continued the conversation.

【… Why did you charge in from the rear of the Fourth Army? If you are here to reinforce our position, there should be other ways to do so right?】

Rockhoward made a dumbfounded expression.

【This is for the sake of getting to the side of the Madam Généralissime faster.】

【… And the result of your actions, is that the Etruria Army that was about to surrender, is now retreating easily.】

【Yes, they judged that they can’t win after my army joined the fray, so they retreated. It’s not strange at all.】

【… What are you saying? The battle had already been decided, but the enemy has now gotten away because of the chaos at our rear.】

Rockhoward used the tone of a teacher and said:

【Isn't it fine if we win?】

【… No, that’s not what I mean… Do you know how many soldiers lost their lives to create this encirclement?】

【Hahaha! Sir Strategist, you sure are obsessed over strange things. So you are saying that I stole your war merit?】

【… You went against orders and still dare say it is a war merit?!】

【I prefer the term flexible!】

Rockhoward shrugged. He really thought that Regis was nagging because of war merits.

Altina thrust her sword down.

It struck the ground.

It shook the earth.

What happened? The soldiers around them all looked their way.

Under everyone’s watchful eyes, Altina jumped.

Like an eagle soaring through the sky.

【You stupid retard——!!】

She sent a flying kick towards Rockhoward.


Rockhoward fell off his horse.

And rolled onto the floor.

Wah! The soldiers watching took a step back, forming a human wall.

Altina walked towards Rockhoward who lay sprawled on the ground.

Her eyes were filled with intense fury.

【Because you violated orders, the victory that was in our grasp got away! And you are not even reflecting on your mistakes! Not only did you act without orders, you are hopelessly incompetent! You don’t have the qualification to command an army!】

【Ughh… My face… was kicked…?!】

Rockhoward nursed his nose.

He said in a quivering voice:

【Even if you are a royal, this is unforgivable! I’m the head of a Marquis house!】

Altina replied in a louder voice.

【Who cares! In my capacity as the Généralissime, I hereby declare— you are dismissed from your appointment as the commander of the Eighth Army!】

【Ahh—?! Alright then! Most of the soldiers from the Eighth Army are soldiers hired privately by me! I will bring them all back!】

【Get lost!】

Altina was absolutely infuriated.

Regis felt his brain cooling down quickly. Probably because his rage had been vented out by Altina.

He stood in front of Rockhoward.

【… Well then, the Eighth Army is hereby disbanded, and the commander is relieved of his appointment. However, please take responsibility for this incident.】

【What?! How dare a chevalier talk to me, a Marquis, with so little respect!】

【… No, this is with regards to the military. I’m speaking to you as the strategist working under the Office of the Généralissime. I hope you can do your final duty as the commander of the Eighth Army.】

【Final duty?】

【… Violating military orders is punishable by death, don’t you know that, Lieutenant General Sir?】

Rockhoward’s face turned pale.

【I-Impossible… I’m a Marquis. And I’m from the west… And I’m from the third faction, who supports the Princess, you know?!】

【Surely you jest. We have no records of any support given by the Rockhoward Marquis house.】

【No, that’s… I mean taking to the field personally as the head of the house. I sincerely hope for your success! That’s my support.】

Altina pulled out her sword that was thrust into the ground.

The air and sand flew with the blade.

【It’s too late!】

【Wait! Please wait, Madam Généralissime! M-My mind is just filled with the urge to save you…】

Regis shook his head.

【… Your mind is just filled with your desire to increase your fame.】

【Everyone thinks like that, right?!】

【… Not really. I have never craved recognition.】

Regis said coldly. Rockhoward ignored all those sacrifices for the sake of his desires, and wasn’t even aware of that.

Ignorance itself wasn’t a sin. But just like soldiers who neglect training would die on the battlefield and farmers who slack on their farms would have poor harvest, commanders who neglect in their studies had to be punished.

He couldn’t be forgiven just because he was a noble.

Altina thrust out her sword.


Her sword was pointed right at his nose.


【Your desires resulted in the valiant sacrifices of many soldiers to be in vain. Take responsibility for disobeying orders.】

【Gaa… Ugg… Ughhh.】

His face turned green and then red. Blood was dripping from the tip of his nose, and sweat was flowing from his brow.

At this moment, from the human wall—

A man walked out.

【Pardon my intrusion.】

A smile appeared on his elegant mouth. It was Inspector Frank Ignatius de Duran.

Altina didn’t move and asked:

【What is it?】

Frank shrugged.

【This is my work. Can you let me handle the rest?】

【The Ministry of Military Affairs was dissolved. What right do you have, a man not part of any enforcement agency, to punish this man?】

【Actually, my transfer orders have been completed… My mission is to investigate Rockhoward in secret. And the conclusion is that he has violated the orders of a superior officer, with no room for debate.】

【Mission… Where have you been transferred to?】

Frank took out an epaulette from his pocket.

【The national Military Police Department that has just been reorganized. As a public official that supervises the citizens for unlawful activities, our jurisdiction includes high ranking military officers. We have been working with empty titles for a long period of time, but we have now been reorganized as per the direction of the New Emperor Latreille.】

【Military Police Department…?!】

Altina tilted her head.

Regis knew of the existence of such a unit, but he never thought they would be reorganized.

【So, this department is formed to supervise high ranking military officers and aristocrats...】

【That’s a misconception, we won’t discriminate against anyone. But of course, our priority will be on personnel with huge influence and authority, that would have a great impact on the nation.】

He winked.

【… How will you deal with Lord Rockhoward?】

【He will be arrested and brought back to the capital. He will be judged according to his crimes, and pay a large amount of compensation to the country and Madam Généralissime.】

【… That will be adequate.】

So it would be solved with money— it wasn’t that surprising, since powerful nobles could be bailed out with cash if they were ever thrown in prison.

Even the justice system in this country was biased towards the nobles.

As long as they had money, they could get away with anything.

Altina looked unhappy.

Frank soothed her:

【I will explain to the officers of the Eighth Army. He is still the commander, and compared to the Madam Généralissime who kicked his face, it will be easier for me to explain. I will work hard to seek the understanding of his subordinates.】

【If they were loyal enough to their master to the extent of getting mad at me, why didn’t they stop his simple-minded actions!】

What she said was true.

Regis concurred with Frank’s proposal.

【… I will leave it to you. They’re welcome to transfer to the Fourth Army… But there’s no need to force those who aren’t willing.】

If the people unhappy about the way Rockhoward was treated were forcefully transferred to the Fourth Army, it would lead to more trouble than it was worth.

Altina didn’t object either.

She kept her sword.

【If Regis is fine with it, then it’s all good.】

Frank bowed his head.

【Thank you for your kind understanding. Well then— please leave the rest to the National Military Police Department.】

Several soldiers wearing the same armband as him walked over, and pulled up Rockhoward who was on the ground.

【If you resist, we will charge you with treason. Please keep that in mind.】

【Ugghh… Unhand me! I will walk by myself!】

His eyes were filled with hatred. But Regis was getting used to being hated by grand nobles.

Regis started thinking about the next issue.

— That side is even more troublesome.

They couldn’t leave the fort to the Eighth Army, since their relationship had fractured.

Before news of this major incident made it back, the Fourth Army returned to Aroe Maroe city.

They gathered Rockhoward’s subordinates, the key officers of the Eighth Army in the courtyard.

Frank informed them of what happened.

Would they be infuriated by the fact that their master was arrested… Surprisingly it didn’t matter.

One officer said:

【… I can’t guess what the head will do at any time.】

【So he has always acted like this?】

The officer nodded in response to Frank’s question:

【Hmm, how should I put this… He has a habit of forgetting about other things when he focuses on one matter.】

Maybe it would be better to say that his ability to concentrate on one thing was extraordinary.

So he didn’t seem suited to be a commander, Frank commented frankly.

【The Eighth Army is disbanded, and the Rockhoward house will be forced to pay an enormous sum of compensation money. There isn’t any law that forbids aristocrats from raising their own army, but it will be difficult for him to maintain his current forces.】

【What should we do…?】

【As a member of the National Military Police Department, I couldn’t be of any assistance.】

Frank was working directly under the Emperor, and his position was close to that of the First Army. However, the First Army was an elite unit.

And the Eighth Army never had any outstanding battle records, so these soldiers wouldn’t be accepted into the First Army.

The Ministry of Military Affairs probably could arrange for a unit for them to transfer to, but that ministry had been dissolved.

And the First Army had taken over this role. Although they were disciplined, their numbers were limited, and probably didn’t have the time to take care of all these loose ends.

Which meant, there was a good chance the Eighth Army’s soldiers would just be ignored.

【H-How could this be…】

The officers looked at each other.

One of them vented his thoughts.

【I have been unhappy about this from the very beginning! My grandfather also worked under him, but the tactics, equipment and training are always the same, and there are no presentable war results to speak of! And now, we even have to shoulder the infamy of disobeying orders.】

【Speaking of which… I heard the guys from the Fourth Army say that although the Office of the Généralissime has been set up, their number of regular soldiers are still lacking.】

When they heard that, the others started chattering.

【Didn’t they hire mercenaries some time ago?】

【But they are still less than 10,000 strong.】

【They have sent detachments to the northern and eastern front…】

【But the soldiers working directly under the Madam Généralissime are limited in number, right?】

【I heard that scrawny strategist say there were plans to “increase the number of regulars”.】

【Alright, let’s give it a try!】

It seems that the commander of the Eighth Army was less popular than expected.

There wasn’t anyone concerned with Rockhoward’s punishment, lest those who plead to reduce his sentence. Most of the officers left the courtyard.

The majority of them were planning to transfer to the Fourth Army.

Only a few elderly men were left.

Frank asked:

【What are your plans?】

【Ehh… We are past the age of seeking fame and fortune, so we will just retire back to our hometown. If the current Emperor requires our services, we will still offer him our swords.】

【I’m impressed by your sense of loyalty.】

【… The previous Emperor has also been kind to us.】

【Maybe I don’t need to say this… knights nowadays strive for fame and fortune, and place less priority on fealty. Compared to them, I feel that you all are the real knights.】

The old officers shook their heads.

【We are just too old to serve a new master. Lord Military constable, the Rockhoward Marquis house served the royal family since the times of the L'Empereur Flamme. The current head might be retarded, but he definitely had no intention of committing treason. Please be lenient on his sentencing.】

Seeing them lower their heads, Frank replied solemnly:

【This humble one will relay your words to His Majesty.】

During the same time, in a different venue—

The large conference hall big enough to seat tens of people had only two occupants.

One of them was Regis.

The other was the commander of the Sixth Army, Lieutenant General Dorval.

Altina wasn’t here.

Both of them didn’t have escorts as they had something confidential to discuss— Regis was the one who proposed this meeting.

It seemed the other party had something to say about the recent battle.

The word “Rage” seemed to be carved onto Dorval’s forehead.

【What the hell is that, explain it right now!】

Regis spoke without being fazed.

【… With the assistance of the Sixth Army, we defeated the Etruria Army. Unfortunately, our encirclement was broken because of the recklessness of the Eighth Army.】

【I’m not asking about the Eighth Army! I’m talking about making my army the shield in this battle! I never heard about this?!】

【… There were no such plans. In the face of the enemy’s charge, the unit in front got through. This is a common occurrence. That is the reason why your unit is deployed to our rear.】

【Eight thousand soldiers splitting cleanly into two halves is not common at all! This must be planned ahead of time!】

【… But even so, that is still the decision made by the Généralissime, the commander-in-chief. Soldiers standing on the battlefield can’t blame anyone just because they had to engage the enemy, correct?】

Half of what he said was false.

This was planned by Regis, not Altina.

And of course, there was no need to say all that.

Dorval didn’t accept this explanation.

【I have nothing to say if this is really the decision of the commander-in-chief! But can you earn the trust of the soldiers with the way you command?!】

【… Trust, huh.】

If Altina heard that, she might agree with Dorval.

That was why he didn’t let her come.
Because this conversation wasn’t just about the battle.

Dorval cautioned him painstakingly:

【You are too young! I admit that this scheme was splendid, but if you lose the trust of your troops, you won’t be able to command properly as a general!】

【… I will keep that in mind. By the way, since we are talking about trust, what about you, Lieutenant General Sir?】

【What did you say!?】

【… After seeing the Etruria Army clashing head-on with the Sixth Army, I confirmed one thing. You can win even if your numbers are evenly matched with the enemy.】

Dorval’s shoulders shook in laughter.

【Fufu… I was wondering what you wanted to say… Luck plays a part in victory and losses too.】

【… It was clear from the records of the previous battles as well. The Sixth Army might have lost, but you didn’t lose any men. This feels like you are losing on purpose.】

Regis said confidently.

Dorval shook his head.

【That’s because the condition of our men and the enemy were different from today. It’s not something anyone who has never been in long campaigns will understand.】

【… You are saying you didn’t forfeit without a fight on purpose?】

【Of course! Why would I do that!? I have no reason to! Why would I lose to the Etruria Army on purpose!?】

【… The result is that seven forts and Sembione city fell into enemy hands.】

【The Sixth Army will take part in the campaign to reclaim these lost territories! Don’t get cocky just because you are called a hero! Don’t think there won’t be consequences for making baseless slander against my reputation!】

He said aggressively.

In the past, Regis might stop due to fear.

He just needed to speak his mind honestly. This was nothing compared to the battlefield where tens of thousands of lives were at stake.

He had faced the murderous intent of the Black Knight Jerome, the Mercenary King Gilbert, and the New Emperor Latreille in the past.

Even though Regis was as weak as a puppy, he could still make comparison between the people he had met.

——Lieutenant General Dorval was nothing.

Regis didn’t even break a sweat.

He asked:

【… Where are the rations that should be stowed in the forts?】

Dorval smirked:

【What are you talking about…? Unfortunately, those rations have fallen into the hands of Etruria. You want me to compensate these losses? But I protected the lives of the citizens. Or are you saying that wheat is more important than human lives?】

【… Talking about something that seems relevant but actually isn’t, will just divert the point. I’m talking about the rations. You can compare the difference between wheat and human lives next time.】

【It is relevant!】

【… I will say this again. This is about the rations. Now, where are they?】

【I said Etruria has them!】

【… We already got the testimony from the Etruria officers we captured that the “warehouses were empty”.】

【Hmmp! Are you asking me something so ridiculous because of the ramblings of an enemy soldier!? Stop joking with me!】

Regis nodded.

【… One of the Princess’ backers is House Tiraso Laverde. A competent house that united all the new nobles in the south. Lieutenant General Dorval who is garrisoned in the south for such a long period time must know about them.】

【Yes, I met them before.】

【… Do you know that they control the merchants in the south too?】

【Hmm? I didn’t know that, I just heard that they are wealthy merchants… What has that got to do with the rations…】

Dorval showed a detested expression.

Regis looked at the vast farmlands outside the window.

The land was slowly being dyed a deep shade of red.

【… By allowing the Etruria Army to take the fort and invading successfully, the food supply zones were lost, the price of wheat and vegetables skyrocket. And there’s also the Hispania Empire’s pirate roaming the sea.】

【Aren’t you talking about rations?!】

【… The current price has reached its peak.】

Regis stared at Dorval.

A bellow that seemed to be coming from the earth resounded:

【Do you have any proof, brat?!】

It was a smile that looked just like the devil on religious paintings.

And of course, he was prepared when he entered the lion’s den.
Regis took out a parchment.

【… This is the list of the merchants who trade frequently with the Sixth Army. I have marked those who have traded alcohol and items of clothing that wouldn’t be traded normally.… What do you think, Lieutenant General Dorval?】


His lips were trembling.

【Do you know? Emperor Latreille has reorganized the National Military Police Department. Should I let them investigate the account books of these questionable merchants? Well then, Lieutenant General Dorval… Let me ask you again. Where are the rations from the forts?】

【Ughh… Ughh… You… You damn brat!!】

Dorval held the hilt of the sword on his waist.

Regis narrowed his eyes.

【… You admit it?】

Dorval sighed deeply.

【As expected of you. You actually saw through it.】

【… It’s such a shame.】

【Yes, such a shame. My hands… Will be the one to kill the hero who saved the Empire!!】

【Lieutenant General Dorval?!】

【I will kill you, then throw you and that dull piece of parchment into the bottom of a lake!!】

Dorval drew his blade.


Regis backed away.

But it was futile in the face of such a brutish act.

He might have faced many powerful men,have gotten used to their killing intent and intimidating aura, but his frail body that couldn’t wield a sword remained unchanged.

— I’m gonna die?!


With a shout, the door of the conference hall was broken.

The thick doors were crushed by Altina’s sword, 《Grand Tonnerre Quatre》.

Shreds of wood were scattered all over the floor.

A dark shadow charged in.

It was Eddie.

The blade of his 《Defendre Sept》 drew near.


【Don’t forget your honorifics, retard!】

The blade swung with a cry—

And shattered before it reached Eddie.

Duke Eddie Fabio de Balzac was incredibly skilled in breaking his enemy’s weapon.

He shattered Dorval’s sword in one hit.

The hands of the Lieutenant General were shaking.

【Ughh… you are actually that strong…?!】

【I’m the head of a house bestowed with the sword of the Emperor after all.】

Dorval opened his eyes wide when he heard what Eddie said.

【You damn brat! You didn’t show any results when you were working under me!】

【Didn’t I tell you? I hate the sight of blood.】

Dorval who was holding the bladeless hilt collapsed to the floor.

【I… What did I do? I merely sold some rations. All the nobles despatched to the frontlines do that.】

He mumbled to himself.

He was completely lost.

Phew, Regis who was saved in the nick of time breathed out in relief.

【… That was scary.】

Eddie shrugged.

【That’s my line. Don’t die in a place like this, Regis.】

Altina who had smashed the door walked over with her sword on her shoulder.

【Really now! You made us wait outside— I left it to you to handle, but wasn’t that dangerous!?】

【… Sigh… I never thought he would slash at me out of the blue.】

【Naive! You are too naive!】

【… That’s right.】

Even Eddie was saying that.

【No matter how high the status of a criminal, there are no distinctions in their actions. Both bandits and nobles will act the same way.】

【… I will be careful in the future.】

Regis’ gaze fell onto Dorval.

【… Actually, I just want the Lieutenant General to admit his mistake and turn over a new leaf. I didn’t mean for matters to blow up.】

Altina sighed again.

【I didn’t think I will say these words to two generals in one day.】


Dorval sighed.

But it was already too late.

She announced:

【In the name of the Généralissime— I hereby relieve you of your appointment as the commander of the Imperial Sixth Army!】

He hung his balding head low.

The sentries patrolling the fort rushed over after hearing the disturbance.

【What happened!? The door is broken!? What’s going on?!】

Regis lifted his hand and stopped Altina who wanted to tell them what transpired here.

【… It’s thieves. Probably soldiers from the Etruria Theocracy. They might have infiltrated the city. Strengthen the security. Even Lieutenant General Dorval got injured.】


And of course, all these were lies.

There weren’t any thieves or casualties.

However, the soldiers relayed this news to the others. They would strengthen the security within the fort.

Regis asked Eddie to perform another task.

【… Please move Dorval to a room quickly. Keep watch over him, don’t let anyone in.】

That meant confining him.

Eddie nodded.

【Understood. But it will be best to get someone to take over me soon. I don’t want to be alone with Dorval for too long.】

【I understand.】

Finally, only Regis and Altina were left in the conference hall.

She asked:

【Are you really not hurt?】

【I’m fine.】

【Hey Regis— Why didn’t you hand Dorval over to the National Military Police Department immediately?】

【… Because he isn’t the mastermind we need to apprehend.】


【… Lord Dorval is an aristocrat from central. It will be difficult for him to find merchants that are trustworthy and brave enough to buy stolen military wares, correct?】

【Ahh, that’s true.】

【… I’m wondering if the merchants were the ones who proposed this. Well, even if that wasn’t the case, the people who brought military wares can’t be innocent anyway.】

【No matter what is the reason, they still bought those wares despite knowing where it came from, right?!】

【… So we shouldn’t make the news of Lord Dorval being detained public, before investigating those merchants.】

That would prompt them to destroy the evidence.
He wanted to understand the situation better, that was why he arranged for a private dialogue… Regis never expected to Dorval to cut at him with a sword.

People wouldn’t stay still like the pieces on a chessboard.

They would grow anxious.

And lose sight of the big picture.

Or be blinded by greed.

— People were hard to understand.

Altina placed her hands on her hips.

【It can’t be helped! There’s a pile of things for you to do now. Work hard, Regis!】

Speaking of which, he couldn’t fathom how this girl was filled with endless cheer and optimism, how dazzling, admirable and impressive.

No matter how dire the situation might be, she could continue to move forward with determination.

Regis muttered quietly:

【… Thank you.】

【Ahahaha! Now now, I already decided that I will protect Regis properly!】

【… Considering the position of a mistress and her subordinates, this is a little weird.】

【Regis is too weak after all!】

【Well… I can’t refute that… But...】

【That doesn’t matter, what should we do next?!】

The next steps.

They should investigate the merchants who might have conducted illegal trades with the Sixth Army.

To avoid having them hide evidence, it would be best to investigate all of them at the same time.

They also needed to scout out the Etruria army’s movement. They probably retreated to Sembione city.

So it would be an attack on a fort.

More importantly, Emperor Latreille’s intention lies beyond defending their land.
【The next time, we will be invading another country.】

Altina pursed her lips when she heard Regis say that.

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